Chicago to Joliet to Springfield to Hannibal

June 26th

An early morning for us. We had to be at McCormick Place for an 8:30am presentation hosted by Susie. She wanted to be there early to make sure the room was set up properly . We grabbed a quick Starbucks breakfast at the hotel and checked out by 7am. We figured that we may run into a lot of traffic heading south on Michigan Avenue, but none materialized and we were in the parking lot by 7:15am.

The presentation went very well and attendance was around 75, more than double the number we saw last year. After the meeting we walked slowly to the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place for a luncheon… we had a lot of time to kill. At 2pm we were in the car heading down I-55 to Joliet. Encountering no traffic, we made it to our hotel in under an hour.

June 27th

The main reason we stopped in Joliet was to visit Kathy, a quilting friend of Susie’s at our winter home in Sarasota, FL. We planned to be there at around 11:30am, spend an hour or so and head to Springfield. By the time we finished the visit at her home and at the farm it was 2pm… time flies when you are having a good time.

Unfortunately, the good time in Joliet cut into our time visiting Abraham Lincoln landmarks in Springfield. The first place we visited was Lincoln’s Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery (the 2nd most visited cemetery in the U.S. – the first is Arlington). Susie stayed on a bench outside, while I went inside the tomb, see pictures below.

We then drove to Lincoln Home National Historic Site. There was a wait to get a tour inside the home so I had contend myself with pictures of the exterior. This is an interesting site, with many of the original neighboring homes open to the public.

After leaving Lincoln’s home we headed to Hannibal, MO, our destination for the night. Tomorrow we will have more time to visit Mark Twain’s home town.

Lincoln’s Tomb
Detail of Lincoln Tomb upper section. This section was closed to the public  because of the damage caused by the passage of several million visitors.
There is a superstition that say if you rub Lincoln’s nose you will have good luck. The nose is brightly polished bronze while the rest of the bust has darkened with time. Of course, I was looking for some good luck.
A reproduction of the statue in the Lincoln Memorial greets you at the entrance of the tomb.
Lincoln’s Grave. The coffin is encased in concrete several feet below the floor. After Lincoln was buried, southern sympathizers plotted to steal Lincoln’s coffin. The plot was foiled and the coffin was entombed in concrete to make it impossible to steal. Mary Todd Lincoln and three of their four sons are also buried in an adjacent area.
This is a representation of Lincoln as a circuit riding frontier lawyer.
Lincoln during the Civil war
Lincoln’s Springfield Home.
A Lincoln Campaign wagon on the street near his home.


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